Youth boss Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the narrow defeat at Fleetwood last Saturday, as he also spoke about the first round FA Youth Cup meeting with Chester at Brunton Park on Wednesday night.
“It was incredible weather conditions on Saturday and Fleetwood did really well to get the game on,” he said. “I have to say that the way Fleetwood handled everything was excellent.
“The way they set everything up and went about things in these very strange times was very much appreciated and it was a credit to them.
“For the game itself, it was a miles better performance from us and we went one up in the first half. Charlie Watt converted a Lewis Bell cross and it was a 50:50 game for that first 45 minutes.
“The pleasing thing was that we’d had a bit of an upset from the warm-up to deal with when Lewis Rooks turned his ankle, so we had to make a substitution before we’d even kicked off.
“That rocked us a bit, but the lads did well to cope with that and I was pleased with the performance for the 90 minutes overall, even though we got sucker punched in the second half.”
Speaking more about the manner of the defeat, he told us: “If you look at their equalising goal, Isaac Robinson has shouted for Jack Ellis to leave it, but for some unknown reason he didn’t.
“He only got half a touch on it, the ball rolled square across the six-yard box and their centre forward tapped it in. It could have been left to go through to the keeper and we can’t understand what happened.
“It was a mess-up between the two lads, and that’s fine, these things happen. Then in the 94th minute they got a free kick, and we didn’t track the runner to the back post.
“He headed it back across goal and it was another tap-in for them. We kicked off again and that’s when the final whistle went. As frustrating as it is, we should really have gone there and won that game.
“It’s the two goals we gave away that cost us and they were both awful from our point of view. But, like I say, overall the performance was very good and we’re pleased with that.”
“Losing with the last kick is never nice,” he added. “But it’s Fleetwood and they’re one of the better sides, and everything about the game was a credit to youth football.
“We should have won, but we didn’t, and that’s a lesson to learn because it was two really bad mistakes that made the difference.
“What we’re seeing at the moment is that we’re just not consistent. Last week at Salford we were very poor, then we’re good this week at Fleetwood, and it looks like we’ll have the same problem as last season where we’re not going to score a lot of goals.
“At the same time we’re finding it difficult to keep a clean sheet, which is frustrating for us because when we look back at the goals we’re conceding they’re all poor and avoidable.
“We’ll keep working at it and our next challenge is a big game in the FA Youth Cup. We can’t make silly mistakes in that or we’ll be out of it.”
Speaking more about the Wednesday night game against Chester, he told us: “They’re a new opponent and it’s been hard to get any information on them.
“We’re going into it blind so we’ll have to believe in what we do and hopefully we’ll be ok. It’s a game on the main pitch, under floodlights, and it’s a tournament the lads can enjoy.
“I’ve thought the same about it over the years, it’s a fantastic competition. This is fairly new – I think I’ve played a non-league side once before. That was last time I was here, and we went away to Kidderminster and that was a really tough night.
“We had a good side then and we edged it 1-0, but being honest we didn’t deserve it because the players took it all too lightly. They thought they’d breeze through it, but that’s never the case.
“Chester will be tough, they’ll be strong boys. The fact is that if we don’t match them we could end up with a bloody nose.”
United – Robinson, Steele, Leslie (c), Walton, Ellis, Kilsby, Watt, Swailes (Day 60), Fishburn, Taylor, Bell. Subs – Breeze, Simons.
Goal – Watt (38)
Bookings – Ellis, Bell.
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